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Jerry Sandusky 12, Us 8, Iraq 6, U.s. 5, America 5, Newt Gingrich 4, Joe Manchin 4, Donald Trump 4, Russell Simmons 4, Mexico 3, Florida 3, Brooke 3, Mike Mcquery 3, North Dakota 2, Sharia 2, Iran 2, United States 2, Espn 2, Penn 2, Russell 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Breaking news  
   and developing stories. New.  

    December 13, 2011
    12:00 - 1:00pm PST  

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give more on the payroll tax extension issue. democrats reject that. they say there are still outstanding issues that need to be dealt with, that it does not have to do with the payroll tax issue. i tell you this because it just shows how things have really stepped up here in terms of how contentious this issue has become and how kind of bitter this fight has become on this end -- on these end of year issues and we're watching it unfold as we speak, brooke. >> we're hours away from that vote on the house side. this is the latest iteration of that. kate bolduan, thank you so much on capitol hill. and now this. top of the hour, here we go. first, ex-penn state assistant coach jerry sandusky heads to court but declines to faces his accusers. even in today's economy, some young people are better off than when their parents were. arrests along the border
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with mexico, they have plummeted. time to play reporter roulette. susan candiotti, let's begin with you. jerry sandusky waived his right to the preliminary hearing today. do we know why? >> reporter: well, what a day it's been, brooke. imagine 11 witnesses, including at least four alleged victims who would have taken the stand talk about in excruciating detail being molested and raped by jerry sandusky but they didn't have the opportunity to do so because he waited and, why? his lawyers explain that it was a tactical decision on their part, that, in part, because they would not have had an opportunity to try to challenge the credibility of these witnesses while they were on the witness stand because of court rules, then it just wasn't to their advantage. however, they certainly, it's true, miss out on an opportunity to interview these people, put them on the stand. however, it would have meant
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that this day would have been filled with the testimony of what those alleged victims had to say. this way, that didn't happen. and, instead, defense attorneys took the spotlight. they also didn't have a chance to interview a key witness who was expected to testify today, mike mcquery, who would have told, according to the grand jury report, what he saw that jerry sandusky allegedly raped a boy in a shower room back in 2 2002. brooke? >> susan candiotti, thank you. next is alison kosik. here's my question for you. i guess probably the question that you'll pose to me, are we better off financially than mom and dad? the answer might depend on whether you're a son or a daughter. please explain. >> exactly. you're absolutely right. so the perception is, brooke, that it's tougher for women to get ahead of the world. that may not be the case anymore. there's a study out by a nonprofit group called young invincibles. what they found was that women
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between the age of 25 and 34 make $1.17 more than their mothers did. men in the same age break are making 10 cents less than their fathers did 30 years ago. while women may be doing better than their moms, men are falling short at this point when compared to what their dads -- how their dads did, brooke. >> so then that begs the question why. why are men doing so much worse? >> kind of a simple answer. it's because guys have fewer opportunities, brooke. these mail-dominated areas, like manufacturing, construction, other industries, they are shrinking. but for women who tend to gravitate towards health care, those are the areas in the economy that are expanding. so ladies, they kind of have a leg up because jobs in the service sector are actually growing. brooke? >> all right. i see rafael romo laughing at this one. >> laughing? >> speaking of mr. romo, next on "reporter roulette," a serious
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topic here. the arrests of illegal immigrants along the border down. how much down? >> it's less than half than it was three years ago. when you talk about the numbers, 340,000 trying to cross into the united states and are arrested. but that's 53% less than 2008. here you see the numbers. and let's go back to the year 2000. 1.6 million were arrested that fiscal year. that tells you how different it is. the number this year is only a fifth of what it used to be back in the year 2000. >> so that's the arrests. the arrests are down. what about the people that are still coming in and attempting to come in? is that done as well? >> that's down as well. that's a indicator of how many people are trying to get here. there are many reasons for that. jobs in the hospitality and construction sectors are not what they used to be.
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also, immigration laws in states like arizona, georgia, alabama, have had a chilling effect on people in mexico trying to come here and then you add the number of used border agents, border patrol agents has doubled since 2004. so you add all of this together and that's the reason why you have these numbers. >> i was just talking to the republican whip in the senate yesterday and it sounds like he made a mistake. perhaps there will be changes in that state alone. rafael romo, thank you very much. that's your reporter roulette for us on this tuesday. now this this. president obama says give us our drone back and now iran is responding to that. including a threat about getting inside the secret aircraft. plus, this -- >> back in 2001, a student was paddled so badly he had to be hospitalized for kidney failure. >> yet another alleged hazing incident involving the band at florida a and m university.
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this one also violent and several people are behind bars as a result. plus, we are just days away from a massive pullout from u.s. troops in iraq. many of them will return homeless. i'll speak live with one veteran coming up, one mother with an emotional story about getting back on her feet. and my twitter has blown up over this one. i appreciate you tweeting me. lowe's facing backlash after yanking its ads. now hip-hop mogul, russell simmons, is going to tell us what he is calling for. [ slap! ]
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the florida a and m marching band members had to members had bria hunter is now giving up thousands of dollars in a scholarship. this happened before the alleged hazing death of another famu member, robert champion. another potential big break in the search to the long island serial killer. searchers believe they have found the remains of shannan gilbert. the search for this young woman turned up the bodies of ten other people. police believe all of those ten bodies were dumped by one serial killer. developing now, at least four people are dead.
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119 hurt all as a result of this grenade and gun attack. according to officials, a 33-year-old man acted alone. it happened in the busy square. the dead include two teenagers and a woman. a prosecutor says the attacker then shot himself. >> we have asked for it back. we'll see how the iranians respond. >> wants it back and now the iranian government is responding. they are calling it a spy claim. they claim they can control it. defense secretary leon panetta says he does not expect iran to give it back. >> newt gingrich pledging to uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity if he is elected president. he's written to the family leader in iowa. gingrich has been married three times. the former head of the
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investment firm mf global is back there on capitol hill today but he's still unable to shed any light as to where the missing money went at his bankrupt brokerage. jon cornize says he does not know what happened to $1 billion in missing customer cash. and officials at verizon had some explaining to do after mnling sending messages to customers in new jersey. here's what the text message said. the civil emergency advised people to take shelter now and turns out the message, just a test. wasn't labeled as one. hundreds of people as a result picked up the phone and called 911. trying to figure out what is going on. verizon now saying, oops. new developments in the decision by the home improvement giant lowe's to pull its ads from "all american muslim." this program follows the lives
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of some muslim family in deerborn, michigan. the show was called propaganda. lowe's had this to say. they said, quote, we did not pull our ads based solely on the complaints or e-mails from any one group. it is never our intent to alienate anyone. this again is coming from lowe's via it twitter. here is russell simmons, founder of global grind. i know that this is my first question is this. tlc have any ad time left to buy, if they do, are you buying it? >> i will buy all of the inventory. i've already made the offer. in fact, i was already in but it turns out that some of their advertisers are stepping up and taking up the slack.
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so i'm online to buy more. >> i've been tweeting about this story. i want to share this tweet with you. this is from charlie sliders. i'm a small contractor that purchases a couple thousand from lowe's annually. next year, home depot gets my business. that's one tweet coming in. what exactly are you calling on from the ceo? >> i think the ceo by friday should make a decision to right what's wrong. you can't pull advertisement for a show because you think it's negative when in fact the show itself is positive. you can say that unless you have some hateful intentions towards the muslim community, what i'd like them to do is apologize publicly to the muslim community, to meet with a group of interfaith leaders, looking to bring them to meet with the ceo, and i'd like them to make
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amends to the muslim community by rebuying -- if the ads are not available, maybe they can promote tolerance. >> and if he doesn't? >> obviously he had free will to do whatever he wants. there's not a legal issue here. what i want to know is that his consumers will not stand for that kind of bigatry. >> and if you don't get that apology, then what? >> many people are saying that they won't shop at lowe's. i'm sure their rights are not safe unless they fight equally hard. it's not a fight the muslim community should take on. it's an american fight. we're talking about the first amendment and respect for that amendment and respect for that kind of citizenship. we'll see what he does. >> russell, there are people who would disagree. david is the head of the florida family association, perhaps part
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of the catalyst that led lowe's to pull their ads. here's why he says he objects to all american muslim. >> i beg anybody to find in any mosque in this country that believes that sharia should not apply to the people in america and for this program to show these people, which i wish they were all like this, i would be doing handstands if they all took an anti sharia code proposition for all of the citizens. >> so part of his point, i believe, in talking to him, russell, is that this particular show does not tell the whole story. does not tell the muslim story in america. your response? >> i produced a christian family -- my brother reverend run and his family, they were all a stud ens. it was a great christian family.
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but there are many christian families that don't live up to that code and the reality is that this muslim reality is not america. and to show a clean-cut family is an inspiration to america because a lot of americans are not educated on muslim lifestyle. so this show is a normal muslim family, it's a good depiction of the muslim community and to pull the ads because it's not negative shows how islamic phone phobic that chairman is. he said that he did research and based on the research that he was getting -- that they were getting, that they would pull the ad. but now you see all of the ads, the discussions around the country have turned angry at that company and so if you are a good ceo and you have stockholders and want a return on a decent investment, you should reverse your decision now. and if not, you're not going to have a good christmas season. >> russell, you've reached out to lowe's. what have they said to you so far? >> they understood that we were
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upset that that they were going to get back to me. i said, by friday and if not we're going to call for the ceos head and in the end we will get it. we won't just get a reversal or an apology but they will call for him to step down. he shouldn't dig his heel in the sand. he should remedy this immediately. >> russell simmons, thank you. how about reaching out to you on friday. we'll see where this stands. deal? >> thank you. >> deal. russell simmons, thank you so much. coming up next, forget drones in the war zones. how about drones in your neighborhood? fears are growing about local police using the same aircraft to track terrorists on citizens here at home. is your privacy being violated by all of this and how are police even allowed to do this? that's coming up. plus, donald trump makes a maj major decision about the debate that he's moderating. we'll be right back.
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as you know, the u.s. military is not allowed to take part unless the congress says so. being used against citizens right here at home, yep, you heard me correctly, congress has not uttered a single word about it. to patrol the united states borders with mexico and canada as well as the southern coastline looking for drug and immigrant smugglers and helps manage floods in north dakota.
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but what has been unknown is that local police has been using the drones to conduct surveillance flights and arrest criminal suspects. it happened recently in north dakota where a local sheriff arrested family in a disputes over cattle and in an alleged confrontation where sheriff deputies. jane harmon served on the intelligent subcommittee and said that the drones could allow police to violent constitutional protections against reasonable searches. >> i think it's beyond the mandate that congress gave the border patrol to use along our border. we're talking about drones being used over american cities or in rural areas over the homes of law abiding americans potentially. >> reporter: congress needs to
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debate the appropriateness which she says was never discussed. however, a custom spokesperson said eight sections give the authority law to use the drone in place of local police. the cameras are similar to those used by the fixed wing aircraft and helicopters which has been supporting law enforcement officers for years. the drones can stay airborne for up to 20 hours. >> casey, thank you. coming up next, minnesota's biggest school district bans teaches from talking about homosexuality in the classroom. wait until you hear which group that is. if governor romney would like to give back all of the money that he's earned from bankrupt companies and laying off employees over his years of being, i would be glad to then listen to it. >> newt gingrich comes out firing and have you heard what someone from the obama campaign
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and now to this. have you heard, donald trump pulling out of the debate he was supposed to moderate at the end of this month in iowa. let's go to paul stein house ser. paul steinhauser, okay, so i know just two candidates who signed up to participate in this thing, there has to be more than what meets the eye. >> i guess you could say that donald trump fired himself. >> oh. >> but here's why. here's his explanation. listen, in his own words this is what donald trump said. it is very important to me that the right republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed obama candidate and i'm not willing to give up my right to run as an independent candidate. therefore, so there is no conflict of interest within the republican party, i have decided not to be the moderator of the newsmax debate. there's donald trump in his own words. he's unwilling to give up the
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possible see that he may still run for president. he flirted with the possibility of running for the republican nomination back in may but i guess he's not giving up the chance to run as an independent. the debate, if it had happened, was going to be on december 27th in des moines iowa. who is who said yes. only two. newt gingrich and rick santorum. and rick santorum is upset with the other five who said no. and who are those five? mitt romney, ron paul, rick perry, michele bachmann. that's an interesting one as well. and jon huntsman. there you go. not going to happen on december 27th. not going to happen at all, brooke. >> not going to happen. we talked about how there has been a front-runner in the gop race and now perhaps the obama re-election campaign has a different sort of verbal attack arsenal towards newt gingrich.
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tell me what certain someone said about newt gingrich today. >> well, here's the lowdown. the top obama re-election campaign advisers were right here in washington, d.c. jessica yellin got invited to the briefing. and the proposals are extreme and told a story. this is what he said. the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt. so the speaker is high on the pole and we'll see how many people like the view. that was david axle rod today. >> leave it there. >> let's move on, brooke. >> people can tweet us and let us know what they think. paul steinhauser, thank you so
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much. coming up next, a man facing a life sentence. the sentence gets thrown out after he realizes where he actually was during the crime. it's bizarre. plus this -- >> he pauses, he thinks, reflects before he answers questions and he really postures on what is the best way for him to respond. >> that was jerry sandusky's lawyer trying to explain why he has been fumbling after a wild day in this courtroom in pennsylvania. we're going to go to sunny hostin. she is fired up over this one. sunny is next. the employee of the month isss... the new spark card from capital one. spark miles gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every purchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day.
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former penn state assistant coach jerry sandusky waiving his right to a preliminary hearing. >> we anticipated nothing new coming out of this case with regard to our defense and not being able to attack any witnesses very built today. >> a good move, bad move this morning? >> it's an extraordinary move. preliminary hearing gives the defense team an opportunity for
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a sneak peak into the prosecution's case. what most people don't know is na in a criminal case, defense attorneys don't really know all the evidence that will be presented against their client. typically they only get grand jury testimony a few days or hours before the witness testifies. so many or most i would say defense attorneys never give up the opportunity to find out what cards the prosecution is holding. so i think this was an extraordinary move, perhaps a smart move in the sense that now jerry sandusky is free on bail. his bail conditions haven't changed. the court of public opinion hasn't been as poisoned. but in my view, brooke, he was being somewhat dishonest in saying that he would not have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. that is not true. defense attorneys cross-examine witnesses at hearing each and
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every day. this was a tactical move. i don't necessarily agree that it was a smart one. >> okay. i want to play a little bit more sound from jerry sandusky's attorney. he's questioning the motives. watch. >> what greater motivation, and i hate to say it, but what greater motivation could there be than money. i've seen money break up siblings and families. what greater motivation could there be, folks, to come out of this by saying, i'm a victim. >> sunny, you've prosecuted sex crimes against children. i mean, have you ever seen any claim that they were the victim of child rape just to get money? >> well, not in the cases that i prosecuted but certainly people will bring up the michael jackson child molestation trial and say that that was a trial just aimed at michael jackson's money and it's an extraordinary
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case to make in this case because we have ten unrelated victims. there were 11 people prepared to testify today and the defense is going to have to prove that there was some sort of vast conspiracy amongst all these young men who knew jerry sandusky at different times to make that theory really work for the defense. so i think that's a pretty extraordinary claim. i would add it's probably their only defense in this case and so not unexpected that this would be the claim that there is some sort of vast conspiracy against jerry sandusky and all of the victims are out for his money but i would like to reserve my opinion on whether or not they are going to be able to prove that in court. >> okay. reserved. reserved. we know today's prelimb, it was a no go. there's another hearing at the end of the week with the other two school administrators who have been charged with failing to report the child sex abuse.
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is that still on this friday? >> my understanding is that it is still on. that's a very different case because that case certainly hinges on the testimony of mike mcquery, the assistant coach. and lately we've been hearing reports that his version of events, his story may have changed, may be inconsistent. and if that is true, that is something that those defendants will want to get to. they will want to get that information out. so i believe that one will still go forward. and that will be also an interesting case, testimony, rather, to hear in terms of jerry sandusky's case because we know mike mcquery also indicated that he saw jerry sandusky rape a 10-year-old boy who appeared to be a 10-year-old boy in a bathroom at penn state. so i think we're going to hear a little bit more about that on friday. >> okay. as we watch for that friday, quickly, there's a man convicted
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last month for robbery and a judge overturned that because there's no way that he could have done that because he was in jail on another charge. the judge calls the whole situation mind boggling. you agree? >> i agree. if the prosecution doesn't catch something like this, certainly the defendant himself will say something. the defense team will say, it wasn't me. i was in prison at the time. but we know this is a guy who has a lot of cases pending. he's still in custody with five cases pending, four of them for aggravated robbery. brooke, he's being currently held for trial without bond. so perhaps he just mixed up the crimes. >> well, that's an alibi. sorry. i was in jail. sunny hostin, thank you very. talk to you tomorrow. >> will your taxes go up in january? still no agreement in congress. a woman who found herself
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homeless. you'll meet her. how she survived right here on american soil away from the war zone. she's joining me live, next. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual insurance, if your car's totaled, we give you the money to buy a car that's one model-year newer... with 15,000 fewer miles on it. there's no other auto insurance product like it. better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual. it's a better policy that gets you a better car. call... or visit one of our local offices today, and we'll provide the coverage you need at the right price. liberty mutual auto insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy?
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we are in depth on iraq all year here in cnn. military equipment is becoming part of the iraqi forces and bus selling military communities in iraq now look like everyone
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simply stood up and left. ghost towns. in this country, there is the other side of the drawdown and the end of the iraqi war. u.s. troops from all branches, tens and thousands of them, you can hear the cheers, returning home to crowds, family, friends, and a perfect world a promising new start but not all veterans have an easy road ahead of them. a military police officer who served in iraq, she left the military after seven years of service and not much later she found herself homeless. she joins me live from los angeles. nice to have you on. as i mentioned, seven years, seven years served in the military. time in iraq, from what i understand in your background, dodging mortar attacks and gunfire. did you ever think when you came home after serving your country that you would become homeless? >> no, never. i joined the military because i thought that i would have that foundation and i wouldn't have
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to worry about dealing with things like that. >> you joined the military when you were 17 after your grandmother passed away. you come home, you got pregnant. how hard did you try to find work? >> i went on unemployment for a while and i didn't feel comfortable because i had been working seven days a week, 14 hours a day. that was hard for me to transition to what i was doing in iraq. >> so explain to us what life is like when you're here, no job, no money, no home. what was a 24-hour cycle like in your life? >> it's hard to say. it was just surreal. i got into survival mode. my friends and family didn't know what was going on. i kind of just kept pushing it and thinking that it's a temporary time, it's not permanent. >> so at what point did you get
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this help in the form of u.s. vets? how did you hook up with them? what did they do for you? >> well, you know, the first part was to admit to myself that i needed the help because i was always able to provide for myself. and once i decided that i needed the help, i went to the work source center because i remember checking a box that said, do you need help with homelessness and they were the ones that introduced me to u.s. vets there. >> what did they provide to you? >> they provide shelter, a roof over my head, stability. i was able to go to school and collect my g.i. bill but it was hard. it was really hard. >> so now you've been to school and tell us, as we look at these adorable pictures of your little 4-year-old daughter, tell us where you're working now. this is sort of full circle. >> so now i work at the department of veterans affairs for a new pilot program called homeless veteran supporting
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employment and i assist veterans seeking employment coming back from iraq and having to face the struggles that i had to face. >> as you are working now sort of on this ground level, are you seeing fewer people seeking help or are you afraid or you and your colleagues afraid that the number of homelessness will increase now as people come home from iraq? >> i think it's hard to say. i think definitely the numbers may rise but with the way the v.a. is toppling it, there is hope. the program has been excellent for me and hopefully it will be for the people that come back. >> final question, perhaps people know someone, a fellow veteran, perhaps a mother as you were, struggling, what's the best -- what's the one best piece of advice that people have? >> i would have to say, admit to yourself that you need the help and don't be afraid to ask for it. you're not -- just because you
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don't have somewhere to live, it doesn't mean that you're hopeless or helpless. you served our country and you have these rights. >> you're not hopeless, you're not helpless. i appreciate you coming on. because of your story, weapon want to help others. the national veterans foundation is dedicated, a great group of people dedicated to helping men and women from returning to civilian life. thanks again. coming up next, 19 days away from the date that everyone's taxes go up. everyone who gets a paycheck and considering congress wants to go on vacation, that means that time is running out. there are fast-moving developments. we are live on capitol hill. back in 90 seconds. but, first, free money advice. people with a machine.
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time now for the health desk. joining me is gary, a financial planner and the president of objective advice and gail cunningham, thank you both for being here. rich writes, i occasionally receive unsolicited invitations telling me i am preapproved for a credit card. >> receiving the preapproved application, it coming in your
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mailbox has no impact on your credit score. but if you act upon that, of course the creditor is going to review your credit history. it could potentially lower your very score but not for long. don't worry about it. that is rarely the reason anyone is declined simply because they have too many inquiries. >> that's a very good point. gary, your question is from tom in ohio. i'm retired. my only income is from my pension, social security, and investments. can i still make the maximum contribution to my roth i.r.a.? >> unfortunately, it can't. you have to have some type of earned income so you can look at other investments but one of these tax deferred ones you cannot do without earned income. >> good advice, guys. we appreciate it. if you have a question you want answered, please send us an e-mail at any time to
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cnnhelpdesk@cnn.com.
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the new president of the amateur athletic union says the child sex abuse allegation against his organization is different than those affecting both syracuse and penn state universities. and talking about bobby dodd, he is the one-time memphis area basketball coach and aau president accused now by two men who say he sexually assaulted them as boys. in this exclusive interview with cnn, current aau president says his group did not hesitate to act when those charges first came to light. . >> unlike penn state, unlike syracuse, and citadel, we acted
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immediately. we didn't wait six months to find out if this was a protective thing because of an executive director. we acted immediately. we formed our own internal investigative process. and once we found out who the accusers were, we immediately went to the police department. we didn't sit on this, no one has acted more properly than the athletic union. >> lewis stout spoke to us at cnn and said he would not do anymore sit-down interviews. accusations about bobby dodd first emerged in a report on espn, two men say dodd abused them in the '80s when they were between the ages of 12 and 16. neither espn or cnn has been able to contact him for comment. and now, major developments in the fight over your money. less than three weeks now, the taxes in your paycheck going to go up unless congress agrees on
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extending the payroll tax cut, that expires at the end of this month. kate bolduan following this for us on capitol hill. we know there's a vote set for tonight. i'm assuming that is still on. >> reporter: that has not happened yet, still scheduled for this evening. and republican leaders in the house have been confident they'll have the votes to pass that measure. but it may not get much further from there as senate majority leader harry reid says that bill will not pass in the senate because it includes one obstacle it includes is a controversial measure that house republicans added to their bill to extend the payroll tax cut. having to do with the keystone oil pipeline project. senator harry reid says that will not paz in the senate, and president obama in the white house issued a veto threat on that measure just this afternoon. and the clock is ticking. we are running very short on time here, brooke, as this payroll tax cut expires at the end of the year. another deadline we're now
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dealing with that no one really thought we would be dealing with at the end of this week friday, the government runs out of funding yet again. and there may be some issues hanging up a massive spending bill to keep the government funding through the rest of the fiscal year. republicans charge that democrats are bringing this into the payroll tax fight. democrats say that's not the case, there are still outstanding issues, very unclear where the path to compromise is on both of those issues at this moment, brooke. >> deadline time, as i'm sure these members of congress would like to go on vacation. kate, thank you very much. in the meantime, as lawmakers bicker over payroll taxes, some of them are revealing what they gave one another in a secret santa gift exchange. yep. we first told you about this happening on capitol hill. so who got the wing sauce? who got the coal? plus, first lady michelle obama now in the guinness book of world records. find out the history she helped make at the white house. joe johns, here in the studio has your political pop, he is next. .
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i want to welcome joe johns. we have this piece of video, very festive red tie. >> all ready for the holidays. >> ready for the holidays. >> little early. >> i heard about this video. we're about to do this together, right? so it's the time of year, people think about family, shopping, and parties, it's also the time people are tree decorating, baking cookies, and we're at the mall, we're hanging out. so if you're placing the candles
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in your window this year, make sure they stay put and do not fall when lit. >> that's a good idea. don't let the dogs run over them. >> that happened to you because -- >> this is not good. >> this is what you don't want happening with your menorah, folks. >> not a merry menorah. >> also, if you're like me -- by the way, this is the first year i've gotten out and gotten my own christmas tree. i've been a fan of the -- oh! >> now that's really bad. the idea, i think, is to have the fire logs in the fireplace, not the christmas tree burning. >> look at that. so we just, you know, spreading a little christmas holiday cheer by showing you what not to do. >> at least your house will smell like pine needles, after the -- >> anyhoo, this is why we have you playing. senators, you first were reporting this on political pop, they are playing secret santa. we now know some of the goodies.
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>> al franken said he did it way back in the day, the senators picked it up and thought, yeah, this is great. so they decided to trade presents. >> what was the cap? $10. >> and you had to be inventive, come up with something that had some special meaning, perhaps from your own state, but not necessarily very expensive. now, the most important thing you have to say, i think, is this is historically the most unpopular congress in history. i mean when you think about since polls have been taken. >> right. >> so what would you give the most unpopular congress on christmas? >> coal because they haven't been naughty, not nice. >> that's exactly it. so we got some coal gifts. in fact, senator joe manchin of west virginia, which is the big coal state. he gave a donkey and an elephant, the symbols of the republican, democratic party to
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none other than charles schumer, which i didn't have time to research it. i'm kind of interested in just how much charles schumer's been into the whole environmental fresh air thing, which would be something that joe manchin wouldn't like so much. >> yeah. >> so, what else? >> and not to be out done, another senator gives coal to joe manchin, all right? and where is it here? i can't find it here. another senator gives it to joe manchin, and so you have two senators giving coal, and mark udall of colorado. >> wasn't he the one who said, hey, we need to have the republicans and democrats sitting together at the state of the union? >> so he sort of got trumped there. but he's not bitter, it doesn't sound like. >> so gifts for secret santa and jumping jacks for the first lady. >> this was another follow-up. the first lady got together hundreds of thousands of people -- there you go. jumpin